What if You Pay to Guest Post? Will Google Think It’s Spam?

Once upon a time, guest posting could make your Google positions climb.

People would write one article, add backlinks including their most important keyphrases (for instance, [best small business accounting firm]), get it published on multiple sites, and watch their rankings rise.

Was it spammy? Oh yes. After all, those links back to their site were important.

Once upon a time, guest posting could make your Google positions climb.

Then, the Google hammer fell. Google penalized blog posting networks and sites that accepted guest posts. (Ouch.)

And guest posting got a bad rap. Especially paid guest posting.

But the thing is, guest posting isn’t bad.

Even paying money to guest post is okay — even according to Google.

It’s just how you handle it.

Here’s what I mean.

Why would you pay to guest post?

Depending on your audience, it’s a great way to showcase your knowledge and expertise to a broader market.

For instance, let’s say you specialize in helping coaches connect with new clients via their website, newsletter, and emails. You’re looking for a unique way to reach many knowledge-hungry readers (who could eventually become prospects!).

Writing a paid guest post for the International Coaching Federation (ICF) would make sense. The ICF website is a big trade organization site with thousands of members.

If coaches were your target market, guest posting for the ICF would be a great way to reach a motivated audience.

Even if you had to pay to post, that $100 investment could mean $10,000 of revenue.

Plus, like all guest posts, you could link to your site so people can learn more about your services. Or sign up for a free newsletter.

So guest posting can be cost-effective (even if it feels counter-intuitive.)

Wait? But doesn’t Google consider paid guest posting spam?

Fortunately, no.  Google understands that paying a fee to get your content in front of decision-makers makes sense. If you say, “Hey, that’s like paying for advertising” — bingo! That’s exactly how Google treats paid guest posts.

As ads.

And ad links don’t pass link juice.

You may have the prestige of being published in Luxury Fat Cat magazine. You can use that clip to get new clients. Plus, customers can still click on your links and visit your site.

But those links won’t “count” toward your Google positions.

If you own a blog and want to bring on paid guest posters, here’s more about the topic — and Google’s stance on paid guest posts —  from SEO expert Roger Monti.

From the publisher side, there is a way to tell Google in the code, “Hey, this is a sponsored post. Don’t pass any link juice to the referring site.”

So feel free to pay for a guest post — IF it makes sense for your business model. You’ll get the site traffic and the exposure. But unlike the old days, you won’t get the SEO benefit.

And that’s okay.

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